"Culminates with the closest, most detailed and systematic
reading of Beckett's most important novel, "Molloy," yet produced.
. . . No other work in Beckett studies has attempted to deal with
these works in this much detail, with this strong a thesis, and,
most important, with this much success. . . . A masterwork. It will
completely revise how we think of Beckett's creative process and
how we read " Molloy.""--S. E. Gontarski, Florida State
While much has been written on the subject of Joyce's uses of
sources and models, little has been written about Samuel Beckett's
similar preference for using formal systems of thought as
scaffolding for his own work. In the most comprehensive study of
his use of source material, J. D. O'Hara examines specifically
Beckett's almost obsessive concern with psychological sources and
themes and his use of Freudian and Jungian narrative
Beginning with Beckett's early monograph, "Proust," O'Hara traces
Beckett's preference for Schopenhauer's philosophy as the system of
thought most appropriate for thinking and writing about Proust.
O'Hara then examines Beckett's shift from philosophical to
psychological models, specifically to Freudian and Jungian texts.
Beckett used these, as O'Hara demonstrates, for characterization
and plot in his early writings.
Beckett's use of depth psychology, however, in no way allows the
reader to hang either a "Freudian" or "Jungian" tag on Beckett.
O'Hara cautions his readers against inferring "truth value" from
what is more properly understood as scaffolding--a temporary
arrangement used during the construction of his own absolutely
unique art form. O'Hara analyzes this scaffolding in the novel
"Murphy," the story collection "More Pricks Than Kicks," the short
works "First Love" and "From an Abandoned Work," and the radio play
"All That Fall." He concludes with the most comprehensive and
detailed reading of "Molloy" available anywhere. No serious reader
of Beckett will want to be without this book.
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